18 September 2019

Rallying cry to rural enthusiasts affected by the change in General Licences to complete GWCT survey

Wood Pigeon

THE Game & Wildlife Conservation Trust (GWCT) has launched a rallying cry for the rural community affected by the change in General Licences to complete its new survey.

Farmers, gamekeepers, landowners and anyone else affected by the change in General Licences can voice their concerns in this straightforward survey which takes just 10 minutes to complete.

This user-friendly questionnaire, produced by GWCT following talks with Defra, is a great way of getting involved in the long-awaited consultation on General Licences in England.

As with the previous consultation, the GWCT will collate and anonymise the information over the next six weeks before submitting it to Defra on your behalf.

It’s crucial to take part in this survey to ensure Defra can make an informed decision on General Licences after the consultation period ends, defying challenges made by activists.

“Defra is required to understand the impact of any proposed changes will have on users. Therefore, if you can foresee complications if species were removed, or benefits if they were added, Defra need to know now before they make decisions,” stressed GWCT chairman Sir Jim Paice.

“That is why I have asked GWCT staff to produce a survey that contains more relevant questions and provides more scope to share your experiences on the need to control birds in your area.”

“It also gathers information to help urgently address the needs of those operating on SSSIs and Special Protection Areas (SPAs). It really is worth doing.”

Fellow rural organisations including the National Gamekeepers Organisation, Countryside Alliance and Moorland Association have pledged their support to the survey.

Chairman of NGO Liam Bell said: “Gamekeepers were among the hardest hit by the withdrawal of the General Licence.

“It had an unprecedented impact on our working lives and an unknown, but no doubt significant impact on wildlife. This may be one of our busiest times of year, but putting 10 minutes aside to complete this survey and feed into Defra’s review will not be time wasted.”

Defra has encouraged the GWCT to engage with members and supporters on this issue and welcomes our proactive approach of collating and submitting general licence user information.

Take Our Survey >

Notes to editors

The Game & Wildlife Conservation Trust – providing research-led conservation for a thriving countryside. The GWCT is an independent wildlife conservation charity which has carried out scientific research into Britain’s game and wildlife since the 1930s. We advise farmers and landowners on improving wildlife habitats. We employ 22 post-doctoral scientists and 50 other research staff with expertise in areas such as birds, insects, mammals, farming, fish and statistics. We undertake our own research as well as projects funded by contract and grant-aid from Government and private bodies. The Trust is also responsible for a number of Government Biodiversity Action Plan species and is lead partner for grey partridge and joint lead partner for brown hare and black grouse.

ISDN radio broadcast line – at our Fordingbridge HQ we have an ISDN radio broadcast line, allowing us to conduct interviews remotely.

For information, contact:
Kate Williams
Telephone: 01425 651000
Email: press@gwct.org.uk

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